Caldwell Farmer’s Market (Our first two weeks)

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I am pleased to report that we have two successful visits to the farmer’s market under our belts! The picture above was taken by a helpful fellow vendor at our first farmer’s market. After some, challenges, with the canopy (Caldwell Farmer’s Market has very strict regulations regarding appearance. Canopies must be white or green, no blue, and unfortunately just a few days before the college had sold all of it’s green canopies at the yard sale and kept only the blue) (luckily after calling several rental companies and sporting goods stores we were able to borrow a green cover from the market administration) we were off.

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We were unprepared for exactly how much lettuce was in our three rows of lettuce mix. Once washed it filled well over thirty bags- seven or so are pictured above, the other 23+ spent market day in the cooler. We sold most of our produce that first day, and made a decent amount of profit, considering it was our first day. (Initial estimates were about twenty dollars or so after subtracting the cost of materials and the market fee. Later, when Amanda counted up the cashbox, she told us we made much more.)

Customers and sometimes other vendors approached us and told us some wonderful stories about their breakfasts, gardens, kitchens, families, whatever. (One gentleman told us in great detail about his morning smoothie, which contained among other things, highly nutritious but sometimes-difficult-to-love kale). A few people were curious to know what to do with or how to cook some of our produce- questions that despite working for a food service and a catering company I wasn’t fully prepared to answer. I did my research later on sorrel, a tangy leafy herb reminiscent of rhubarb, and found that is most associated with sorrel soup. (Which was delicious, by the way. Some of the leftovers from market found their way into my roommate’s newly purchased stew pot)

By the next Wednesday we were Farmer’s Market Experts and harvested, bundled, and priced much less produce with considerably less stress and set up in no time. This time we nearly sold out of everything (!) pushing our total market profits to over 100$, doubling our budget. (Which was no longer as desperately necessary thanks to the donation of a hoe by our beloved benefactor Beth and ten tomato cages by another friend and organic grower, Bart.)

Below are pictures of our second, streamlined booth, featuring our walla-walla sweet onions.

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The past two weeks we have been absent from the market, choosing to focus on and send our produce to the Idaho Green Expo, but we’re looking forward to a comeback next Wednesday.

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